P644: Creating and delivering a highly interactive on-line version of “The Forensic Chemistry of CSI”
As our chemistry department developed its first venture into on-line learning, we wished to explore student perceptions of on-line versus face-to-face learning for a science course. The Forensic Chemistry of CSI is a non-laboratory liberal studies science course that is taken primarily by non-science majors. The course creator taught the course face-to-face with many in-class demonstrations of forensic kits. For the initial on-line delivery, we created a number of video demonstrations by practicing CSI professionals in our local Indiana Borough Police Department that are publicly available on YouTube. Prior to each course, we surveyed face-to-face and on-line students about their impressions and expectations for an on-line course. While others have explored the teaching and learning differences between the delivery methods, our focus was on expectations of the level of interactions with fellow students and with the instructor. In both delivery methods, students were expected to work in groups to create reports of the forensic evidence found at a crime scene. The outcomes of this study will better prepare our faculty to offer quality faculty-students interactions in the development of on-line science courses through the implementation of best practices.